You are how you sleep: what 40 winks can reveal about you (or your partner)

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Indy Lifestyle Online

As you lay your head on your pillow tonight, spare a thought for anyone who might share your bed – particularly if you're selfish, intolerant or anarchic.

Most of us would deny being any of these while awake, but the way people behave as they snooze is an entirely different matter. A new report in the journal Sociology says people often behave in ways that are out of character while asleep.

Research by Dr Simon Williams of the University of Warwick divides sleepers into eight categories, from the socially attentive, intolerant, selfish and anarchic to the snoozers, nappers, feigners and deviants.

The socially attentive are easily roused. "Parents' sleep, particularly mothers', may also be 'retuned', such that the slightest cry of the newborn infant awakens them," writes Dr Williams.

Intolerant sleepers prioritise their own sleep to the detriment of significant others. The selfish include snorers, sleepwalkers who fail to seek treatment, and men who on hearing the baby crying just turn over. Anarchic sleepers fail to conform to convention regarding the proper time and place for sleep.

Snoozers include commuters on trains who are able to sleep without missing their stop.

Nappers no longer have to be furtive. "The nap is now becoming an acceptable part of the working day. Some companies are building dedicated 'nap rooms' for employees."

Sleep feigners tend to be women, although there are also men who pretend to be asleep.

Deviants are people who do not sleep at night. "All sorts of weird and wonderful things can happen while we sleep," the report suggests. It cites dieters caught on camera making trips to the kitchen in the night to gorge. In extreme circumstances, it adds: "Murders have been committed by people while asleep."

Sleeping up appearances: the truth about your bed-time style

Grumpy: intolerant bedmates give short shrift to a partner who reads

Wakey: the socially attentive are attuned to the slightest sound

Snoozy: nappers are no longer considered the layabouts they once were

Noisy: snorers and sleepwalkers fall into the selfish category

Lazy: inconsiderate sleepers avoid waking even to feed the baby

Scary: anarchic sleepers have been known to commit murder in their sleep

Creepy: deviant sleepers eschew the usual methods of slumber

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